The upside (for him) is that Keith Ape is in the New York Times, the downside is that he keeps doing questionable things, including ironically talking about “real hip-hop” and maybe probably leaving Hi-Lite Records.
There has been hip-hop in South Korea since at least the early 1990s, but in recent years it has grown widely, with numerous independent labels emerging to promote the music outside of the traditional K-pop avenues. Keith Ape was originally signed to one of these, Hi-Lite, but in many ways what he’s doing, so heavily influenced by American eccentrics like Travis Scott and the Awful Records crew, is at odds with the mainstream of South Korea’s hip-hop scene, and even its underground. (There’s actually a popular “American Idol”-like reality competition, “Show Me the Money.”)
Wait wait wait … “was” and “originally” in reference to Hi-Lite? And the immediately seguing into how he’s not really Korean hip-hop? Hm…
He suggested that “It G Ma” was also an implicit response to the increasing absorption of hip-hop into K-pop, from boy bands and girl groups to novelty acts like Psy, he of the 4.7 billion YouTube views. Keith Ape wanted to make what he considered to be true hip-hop, “not to be wearing makeup and dancing up and down onstage.” (Coincidentally, to extricate Keith Ape from his previous contract, his managers hired a lawyer who also represents Psy.)
Actually, this is perfect. Delusionally talking about “real hip-hop” and how Psy is a gimmick, but he’s using the same lawyer to ditch Korean hip-hop and it’s fitting because he too is a “gimmick”.
Seriously though, it sounds like he’s ditching Hi-Lite, correct? Cause if so I would be greatly amused considering Paloalto was basically the only one of his “crew” to stick up for him after he got savaged by TakeOne on that diss track.
Fitting that this comes after a CL article, because I’d much rather her have success.